India opener Mayank Agarwal scored a good-looking and patient 60 runs in the first Test of the three-match series against South Africa which began at the Supersport Sports Park in Centurion on December 26, 2021, and credited his success to conversations with head coach Rahul Dravid.
Mayank Agarwal was named in the playing XI after Rohit Sharma was ruled out of the entire series due to a hamstring issue. Agarwal is coming into this Test series on the back of a brilliant performance against New Zealand in the Mumbai Test where he scored 150 and 62, helping India win the match and the series.
In Centurion Test, he added 117 runs with KL Rahul and at the end of the day’s play, talked about how conversations with head coach Rahul Dravid on how to stick to one’s plans and be patient are working for him.
“Well the conversations with Rahul Dravid were about being very disciplined, he was very clear and he said that when you are playing in South Africa and other countries, you will not look very good but it is about sticking to your plan and waiting for the opportunities to score. We were thinking around those lines and I am glad that we could do well in the first session,” said Mayank while replying to an ANI query during a virtual press conference.
“To be honest the plan was to be very disciplined and try to play the balls that were close to the stumps. The plan was to leave as many balls as possible and I am glad that we could do just that. To be honest, being placed at 272/3 at the end is credit to the batting unit. We really applied ourselves really well, the talk has been that players who get set have to go on. Credit to KL Rahul for the way he has played and he has made sure that he has been part of some good partnerships,” he added.
Mayank hit 8 fours in his knock of 60 where he showed immense patience and grit to play out the dangers of the new ball against the likes of Kagiso Rabada, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, and Marco Jansen.
He Is Looking To Bat Through Whenever He Gets Set: Mayank Agarwal Lauds KL Rahul
While Agarwal could only manage 60 runs, his childhood friend form Karnataka KL Rahul soldiered on and remained unbeaten on 122 at stumps of day one as India finished on 272/3. Cheteshwar Pujara made a golden duck, Indian captain Virat Kohli, who had won the toss and chose to bat, made 35, while former vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane is 40 not out.
When asked about KL Rahul’s knock, Mayank said: “Someone who has been watching him closely, he really understands where his off-stump his, he is willing to get in the line of the ball. He is very disciplined with his gameplans and mindset. He is looking to bat through whenever he gets set.”
“I think the highlight for the team is Rahul getting a big hundred. We got good partnerships and I hope they continue going on in the match.”
Lungi Ngidi was the lone wicket-taker for South Africa on day one with figures of 3/45.